As The World Battles With A Global Pandemic, Among The Most Affected Are Our Little Ones At Home. Through These Trying Times, Let’s Try To Be A Part Of Their Lives Just A Little More Than We Were Used To…
I am writing to you not only as the CEO of the football club, but also as a parent who has had to tell his child that there will be no summer vacation, no trips to the native place or even going out and playing with friends. We must acknowledge that our kids have acted far beyond their age and been patient in these trying times. I truly believe that apart from those who have contracted the illness and of course, those fighting on the front line, it is our little ones who have been affected the most. Our kids, in many ways, are also unsung heroes.
It is not advisable for children to spend long hours in front of the TV, and the obvious challenge ahead of us is to keep them engaged with various activities. It was never going to be easy for our children to tame their minds to stay indoors throughout the day and night. It is hard on them to lose contact with their friends, coaches and teachers from school. Their world changed overnight and most of them have found it tough to express how they feel. Especially in families with just the single child, the avenues to stay active are few and far between. It is easy to spend time with your children, but I can understand that keeping them active for the whole day may be a challenge of a different sort. That is where BFC Soccer Schools, the club Academy, our online sessions have tried to chip in.
To think about sport at this time is very important because in terms of the Academy, at that developmental stage for the children, losing time may cause a big difference in their development. Should this continue for a longer period, there is the possibility of some players completely missing out on an age group. It may be easy for us to start training for our senior team as it is more justifiable at that level, but when it comes to kids, the parents are the first people who are going to be cautious. I want to assure you that BFC Soccer Schools will take every measure to ensure that your children are kept active and that we will be sure of the health and safety of your child when we resume training.
For now, we want your children to be engaged through BFC Soccer Schools and our team is doing its best to try and help you to do that. Apart from the training aspect, our S&C coaches and psychologists have been sharing videos and nutritional tips for the children to watch and learn from. I am also aware that some of our first-team players have been involved in video calls and that there are some quizzes, and drawing contests taking place.
This is an effort that we are consciously taking because at the club, many of us are parents and we understand the difficulty that our children are facing. Our online sessions are an open platform for even kids who are not a part of BFC Soccer Schools to take part. Going forward we will want to engage and make something specific related only for our BFC Soccer Schools children, this is done so we can contribute and ensure that children who are a part of BFC Soccer Schools can stay engaged and be involved in some activity.
I am also very happy to know that through our Special Projects, The Sports School and Sporthood, many more children are being reached out to. The coaches from our centers in Pune, Ahmedabad and obviously various centres in Bangalore are also trying to keep in touch with the children and making sure they remain active by staying engaged with the sport.
I am also happy to point out that, through our association with Rangers FC, our youth coaches have been able to widen their horizon of understanding when it comes to youth development.
There have been various discussions and online sessions with the highly qualified staff in Scotland, where knowledge sharing on various aspects have been taking place. Some of the topics include how to address our scouting scenario in terms of our Elite academy, what are the parameters that we are looking at, how to do the evaluation of the kids at various age groups. There are also discussions with the coaches of our U7, U9 and U11 team, as well as the Residential Academy in Bellary which is for the U13s and U15s. The Head of Youth Development has been in close contact with the coaches and staff of our advanced development teams; that is our U18 and the BFC B team.
I urge all the parents to take time out for their children because at their age, it is not advisable to spend long hours or days without any physical exercise. This pandemic has taught each one of us a lot and I think most importantly, every single one of us has become more conscious about hygiene, physical distancing and more. I am positive that with the adequate safety norms in place all of us including BFC Soccer Schools, the Academy, will be back in action soon. I believe that we will be able to give our children a reason to smile and enjoy doing what they love most, and that is playing football.
Chief Executive Officer
JSW Bengaluru Football Club